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Trump made it easy to teach my students

January 21, 2021

As a scholar of Latin American politics at the University of Sydney, I have sometimes struggled to explain to my Australian students the phenomenon of populism.

How do you get intelligent young people, who have grown up in a country where politics is basically reasonable, to understand the appeal of a leader who claimed that Martian civilisation was destroyed by capitalism (Hugo Chavez, former president of Venezuela), who recorded a campaign jingle about himself called The Chinese Man who Dances (Alberto Fujimori, former president of Peru), or who first rose to fame for his participation in a military dictatorship and called his philosophy "Justice-ism" (Juan Peron, former president of Argentina)?

James Loxton
University of Sydney

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About LASA

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is the largest professional association in the world for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of Latin America. With over 13,000 members, over 60% of whom reside outside the United States, LASA is the one association that brings together experts on Latin America from all disciplines and diverse occupational endeavors, across the globe. LASA's mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research, and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean, and its people throughout the Americas, promote the interests of its diverse membership, and encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

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